It's All Relative: Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays, and 50 Boxes of Wine
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
How come the only thing my family tree ever grows is nuts?”
Wade Rouse attempts to answer that question in his blisteringly funny new memoir by looking at the yearly celebrations that unite us all and bring out the very best and worst in our nearest and dearest.
Family is truly the only gift that keeps on giving—namely, the gifts of dysfunction and eccentricity—and Wade Rouse’s family has been especially charitable: His chatty yet loving mother dresses her son as a Ubangi tribesman, in blackface, for Halloween in the rural Ozarks; his unconventional engineer of a father buries his children’s Easter eggs; his marvelously Martha Stewart–esque partner believes Barbie is his baby; his garage-sale obsessed set of in-laws are convinced they can earn more than Warren Buffett by selling their broken lamps and Nehru jackets; his mutt Marge speaks her own language; and his oddball collection of relatives includes a tipsy Santa Claus with an affinity for showing off his jingle balls. In the end, though, the Rouse House gifted Wade with love, laughter, understanding, superb comic timing, and a humbling appreciation for humiliation.
Whether Wade dates a mime on his birthday to overcome his phobia of clowns or outruns a chubchasing boss on Secretary’s Day, he captures our holidays with his trademark self-deprecating humor and acerbic wit. He paints a funny, sad, poignant, and outlandish portrait of an an all-too-typical family that will have you appreciating—or bemoaning—your own and shrieking in laughter.
promotional pens in a promotional cup and position it by my typewriter. I sat and waited for an assignment. I placed two pens in the back of my hair like chopsticks. I played drums on empty boxes. I cleaned out my wallet. Around noon, on the verge of tears, I went to the lobby. “Is everything okay?” I asked the sigher. “Why do you ask?” she sighed. “I’m just sitting in there … you know … alone. I don’t know what to do. I don’t have anything to do.” “Consider yourself lucky,” she sighed.
grandmother’s grave that Memorial Day, my knees on the cool earth, and planted a flag and then said a prayer: a prayer that after I am long gone someone takes the time to share my story, to visit me on occasion, to pass along my legacy. And then I scraped my hands into the wet earth, digging through new grass and mud and red clay, and planted some peonies. “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be
too, someday.” Gary promptly poured the coffee into his lap. “I should’ve taken my Amish bread back!” Gary said, charging back across our street when we were done. It looked like he had wet himself. Incidents like this shake Gary to his core. He believes they serve as signs: signs of impending doom. “She was so negative about relationships and romance. She might as well have spit in our faces.” “Can it still be considered Amish friendship bread since you didn’t bake it in a bonnet over a
Half! The! One! Who! Will! Most! Likely! Bang! Me! In! The! Third! Row! Seat! When! He! Sees! I’ve! Bought! Him! A! Car!” “Can you excuse me for one second?” Dave said. I watched Dave disappear into the dealership, where he proceeded to stand in the center of the all-glass showroom and tell his associates that He! Has! Been! Talking! To! A! Faggot! A pretty but hardened woman—think Lynda Carter but with way more makeup—approached me next. “Good morning, sir. Dave had to deal with an
Wisconsin, becoming a gay porn star, and debiting a Viper. “Uh-huh,” I said, tossing a touch more hoisin sauce onto the tofu. “We’re going to volunteer at a homeless shelter on Thanksgiving.” And with that I spasmed, flicking a sizzling-hot piece of tofu into my cornea. “Blind or not,” Gary said unsympathetically, “you’re still doing this.” I rued my Thanksgiving invitation with the homeless for weeks, already feeling ghost pains from my lost pumpkin pie, mom’s turkey, stuffing, sweet